Today I have Michael Lorde, author of Blind Veil, here with me to share some excerpts as part of his blog tour. This book has been getting great reviews, so read all the excerpts (they are long but worth it) and follow his links at the end of the post. First, a little about Micheal!
About Michael Lorde
Michael was raised in a rural town in upstate New York and has two sons and two daughters. After living in a warmer climate for nearly thirty years, Michael has since moved back north with the youngest daughter of the four. They are dog lovers and have two. Blind Veil is Michaels debut novel.
How can an unreported crime that occurred forty years in the past,and across the country, affect a New York City Cop today?
Can a seemingly innocent boat ride forever change the life of a former Marine?
Find out when a Police Officer meets an eccentric scientist who claims to hold secret knowledge that has been hidden from the rest of society.
Is this all truly happening, or is he slowly losing his grip on reality? Unfortunately, neither conclusion between the two worlds is better than the other as the clarifying line between reality and impossibility slowly disintegrates, turning his world upside down.
He must dig thirty years into his past; deep beneath the veil and the mesh of murder, lies and deceit to find answers.
Follow the trail of events that will forever shape his future… and maybe yours.
BLIND VEIL EXCERPTS
Read Michael Lorde’s, BLIND VEIL. Take the ride!
Please enjoy a few excerpts from Blind Veil. These are not in sequence.
It was many years since those fights, and Lamont, now a grown man in his forties, slept fitfully.
‘Crash!’ The thunderbolt caused him to sit straight up in bed.
Well, he thought, at least it wasn’t the dream waking him. He looked at the clock on the bedside table, flashing 1:30 pm. He repositioned his pillow, kicked the covers from his feet and lay back down. He was hot and sweating. It would be a ten-hour shift in a couple of hours. He needed sleep. After listening to his own breathing and the rainstorm for half an hour, he knew he’d get no more rest.
Sliding from the mattress, he went to the bathroom to wash his face before making his first cup of the night. Evening shift, with so little sleep, was going to be a long one. The tile kitchen floor felt cool on his feet as he looked out at the dreary day. Boxes sat in the corner, still unpacked. He was grateful to have found this apartment which was much closer to the precinct than his last place. So close, that he could actually walk to work.
Housing is hard to come by in New York. He’d waited two years for this place. The coffee maker began gurgling, muting the thunder outside. Lamont picked up the small pocket knife lying on the counter. He rubbed his fingers across its marked handle and watched the water drizzle down the kitchen window.
Lamont thought back to when he enlisted in the Marines against Emmett’s wishes. Unlike his uncle, he refused to play the part of a rancher his whole life. A horrible argument erupted, causing a wedge in their relationship. Lamont enlisted. Once through boot camp, he was assigned to Camp Pendleton. Eight weeks later, he was called to the Lieutenant’s office. He walked with anxiousness in his stride, splashing mud up on the ends of his camouflage pants the whole way.
The room’s gray walls smelled of musty cigars. The Lieutenant sat at an old desk, stacked with paperwork that seemed to have been forgotten for months. Lamont was nervous. When a newly enlisted man is asked to sit down in his superior’s office, it’s serious business. He grew more concerned when the chaplain stepped inside.
Lieutenant Calhoun made no bones about telling Lamont that he was a valued part of the Corps. He wasn’t in trouble. Emmett was in the hospital and so he was being given emergency leave to go to him.
The cancer went undetected until it reached Emmett’s bones and blood. Nothing could be done, except to control the pain. Drugged by heavy doses of morphine, Emmett babbled wild stories of demons and medallions and tribal burials. Most of what he said made no sense to anyone, but it was quick. His uncle died three weeks later, Lamont at his side.
It rained the entire week of the funeral. The few close friends Emmett had stood up front, holding umbrellas as the casket was slowly lowered into the wet earth next to Sarny’s grave in front of Karen’s. A large group of others stood behind. Lamont was surprised at the number that turned out to pay their respects. He’d always assumed his family was frowned upon. His assumptions were based on decade old schoolyard rumors. In reality, nearly a third of the town attended the funeral. Emmett was more respected than his nephew knew. Many there made comforting remarks to ease Lamont’s grief.
“Your uncle was a good man,” Adam Harlow said, putting his arm around Lamont’s shoulders. “He gave me the best cattle dog I ever had.”
“Prissy,” Lamont replied. “I remember her.”
“Yep.” Adam reached in his pocket and pulled out a pocket knife. It bore the initials L.S. on the handle. “I believe this belongs to you.”
Lamont looked at the engraved initials on the handle.
“I found it in the old barn last month between some boards in the loft floor. Thought you might want it back.”
The knife had been a gift from Uncle Emmett on Lamont’s 14th birthday. He’d lost it working on the Harlow farm a few days later. Now he held it in his hand, running his fingers over the L.S., choking back his sorrow.
“Yep, a good man.” Adam sighed. “Never heard a bad word about him. Not by anyone who matters anyhow.”
‘Crash!’ The thunder jolted Lamont back to the kitchen window and the storm outside.
Coffee. He needed coffee. Man he hated working eves on days he had court.
A shower and an hour later, he pulled on his trousers and uniform shirt. He buckled his duty belt and pushed a fresh magazine into his 9MM. He holstered his weapon along with an extra clip. Grabbing his Asp, he slid the baton into the gun belt next to his Capstun. The outfit was completed by a long raincoat and hat. In all practicality, Lamont Simms looked all the part of the forty year old city cop that he was. He stepped out the door of his apartment building and walked the eight blocks, in the downpour, to the precinct.
His head was spinning. Well, he ought to at least take a look down in the bilge. As lacking as his mechanical skills were, he’d figure something out. But first, he’d grab some tools.
The knob to the cabinet seemed to move when he reached to pull it open. His eyes weren’t cooperating, and neither were his limbs. He squeezed his hand into a hard fist and released it several times to get the blood to his hand pumping. His fingers were asleep and weak. He felt strange. His head was as light as a cloud, all the while his thoughts whirled like a tornado. He had to slow them down to make sense of them.
Rummaging through the cabin he determined that Clyde definitely traveled light. There was very little on this boat. In the sparse cabinet he found a small tool box, a child-sized life jacket and ring, a thin blanket, a rope, a few pieces of loose silverware, short useless sections of tubing, and a long strand of wire probably left over from engine work long ago. They moved in the shadows as he groped about the cupboard. He stretched further towards the rear wall, ran his hand across the shelf and finally found what he was looking for. Tucked far in the back sat an extra battery and here they were… flares! Good! He pulled them both out. He could signal for help with the flares and attempt to resolve his equipment problem by replacing the battery. Though at this point, he doubted it had a charge.
His weak fingers swept the cabinet again, this time finding only the empty rear wall. He pressed his hand against the back of the shelf and ran it the full length of the cabinet from corner to corner. No flare gun. ‘Damn!’
It’s a golden rule in law enforcement that you never handcuff in the front. There are very few exceptions: obesity, pregnant females, some juveniles. The pat down was a joke too. He leaned forward, to conceal the pocket knife that remained deep in his shorts pocket. If he’d felt any deadly threat from them, it would have been over long before now.
He was once again being detained against his will and that led Simms to instantly dislike the man in front of him. It was something to do with his mannerism. Simms drank the watered down coffee, sizing him up the whole time.
He was fortyish, probably married to a woman he ignored. He forced himself to appear decent to people, though he was anything but. He was balding but, instead of a comb-over, he elected to trim the thin wisp of hair on top extra short in order to minimize its contrast. With his ashen complexion, he resembled a vampire Simms saw in a movie once, the skin punctuated here and there with deep acne scars. The man stood at the doorway wheezing softly. He was antsy, waiting while trying to relax at the same time. His oversized forehead sported a unibrow and his dark mustache was almost lost under his large nose. His ears were disproportionately small, like dried peaches. One hand hung at his side, hovering over his weapon, and the other drummed with annoyance on his thigh. He attempted a professional stance, deliberately extending what little chest he had as far out as possible over his belly. No doubt he practiced this before a mirror. In his black suit and starched white shirt, he reminded Lamont of a penguin; a large, odd, unlikeable sort of penguin.
“Do you want to tell me why the hell I’m still handcuffed?” Simms demanded.
This man was uncomfortable to be here and it suddenly occurred to Simms what a threat he posed to the agent. These people didn’t know a thing about him. It was time to use this to his advantage. After three days with Byron, he was out of patience.
Time to hide.
There was only one safe place in the house. He wasn’t a kid anymore. Could he still fit? If they found him hiding there he’d be trapped, but he was trapped anyway, here in the house. Simms opened the pantry door, almost knocking down an old can of peas. He caught it mid-fall. Careful not to disturb the dust, he placed it precisely from where it had fallen. They’d notice a clean spot. He grabbed the rope which hung at the rear corner of the pantry wall and pulled it to the left. It revealed an open space about three feet wide which dropped to a small enclosed area below the house. The total ceiling clearance there fell just shy of five feet, too small for a man his size to fit. The radio sounded outside the window. It crackled before spitting out whispers. Simms stepped over the pantry floor and into the tiny space and turned around. He hadn’t made a sound. He willed himself into the faux root cellar before twisting his hand around for the rope. He used it to carefully slide the panel back in place, keeping a tight grip on it to lock it in. He was sealed off from the pantry and the kitchen, but was so squished he couldn’t breathe. His ribcage was crammed in like an oversized sardine in a can. His lungs couldn’t fully expand. Standing blindly in the tight closet, he wondered how long he could stay in this position before passing out. Sweat dripped from his pores. A spider web clung to his cheek as he turned his head toward the sounds in the house.
Quiet footsteps meandered from room to room. The search was thorough. Twenty minutes later, they were now in the kitchen. Cabinets were being opened. He closed his eyes in the pitch black. He could feel them walking towards him. The pantry door swung open. The gun tip shone like a brilliant ring from the kitchen light. Between the slats, Simms could clearly see the militant head covering and the dark eyes of the man peering from behind it as he searched through the cabinet.
He felt safe. No one knew about this cubby hole he’d claimed as his personal hiding space as a child. It was virtually unseen from the searcher’s viewpoint. All the same, he didn’t breathe at all until the professional was satisfied with his sweep of the pantry interior and closed the door behind him.
Things sound so much clearer in the dark. He listened as they finally left the house. Fifteen minutes or so later, the engines of the all terrain vehicles faded into the distance. He was covered in sweat which stuck him to the walls that concealed him. Still, he waited a good twenty minutes longer before he opened the slat and poked his head out of the pantry door. He breathed deeply, then listened intently for sounds in the house, any sound.
It was silent.
The soft squeak of the pantry hinge put him on edge as he slipped back into the kitchen and dropped to the floor. He skidded on knees over to the window. The vehicles were gone.
Black and green liquid dripped from underneath Emmett’s truck, pooling onto the yard, beneath it. He could smell gasoline.
‘Damn.’ They cut the hoses and the fuel line.
Where to purchase Blind Veil-
BARNES AND NOBLES: http://ow.ly/aQXj7
AMAZON UK: http://ow.ly/aQYiS
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